PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 August, 2012, 9:36pm

USA ready to get back into the bidding wars


Alvin Sallay was a Sunday columnist with the paper for more than 10 years and reported on the Hong Kong sports scene for the last 25 years. Through his columns he covered four Olympic Games and one soccer World Cup. A long-time Asia expert, he has also been to seven consecutive Asian Games.

The Americans, back on top of the Olympic medal standings, are keen to host the Games again, in order to get home-ground advantage - which 2012 hosts Britain have proved can be a huge factor between winning and losing. Nearly every British athlete who has won gold has remarked on what a huge role the crowd played in their victories. Well their cousins across the Atlantic want to taste that feeling again. The last time the US hosted a summer Olympics was in 1996, Atlanta.

The head of the US Olympic Committee, Larry Probst, said: "We think the games needs to come to America, and the sooner, the better." They are now targeting 2024. America's last two bids — New York for 2012 and Chicago for 2016 — were roundly rejected by the International Olympic Committee who apparently had an axe to grind with the sporting superpower. This resulted in the USOC deciding to pass on bidding for the 2020 Games while it shored up its international relationships and resolved its long-running feud with the IOC about revenue sharing.

The row over how to divide billions of dollars in TV rights and sponsorship - in the past all top Olympic sponsors were American companies - was settled earlier this summer with a deal that will run until 2040 and is beneficial to both sides. This has now opened the way for the USOC to get into the bid game again.

And if they do, apart from New York and Chicago, it is understood that San Francisco and Los Angeles would be interested too in hosting the 2024 Olympics. Alvin Sallay


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